The most common cause of hearing loss in children. This condition can occur in one or both ears and primarily affects children due to the shape of the young Eustachian tube (canal that runs between the inside of the ear and the throat). When left undiagnosed and untreated, otitis media can lead to hearing loss. If treated appropriately, hearing loss related to otitis media can be alleviated.
Tinnitus is the medical name for “ringing in the ears”, which includes noises ranging from humming, buzzing, clicking or loud roaring. Most tinnitus comes from damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Hearing nerve impairment and tinnitus can also be a natural accompaniment of advancing age. Exposure to loud noise is probably the leading cause of tinnitus damage to hearing in younger people. Medical treatments and assistive hearing devices are often helpful to those with this condition.
An infection of the outer ear structures caused when water gets trapped in the ear canal leading to a collection of trapped bacteria is known as swimmer’s ear or otitis externa. In this warm, moist environment, bacteria multiply causing irritation and infection of the ear canal. Although it typically occurs in swimmers, bathing or showering can also contribute to this common infection. In severe cases, the ear canal may swell shut leading to temporary hearing loss and making administration of medications difficult.
Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) is an inflammatory condition of the inner ear. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks cells in the inner ear that are mistaken for a virus or bacteria. Recognising the symptoms of AIED is important as prompt medical diagnosis is essential to ensure the most favourable prognosis:-
– sudden hearing loss in one ear progressing rapidly to the second,
and continued loss of hearing over weeks or months;
– a feeling of ear fullness;
– vertigo and tinnitus
Treatments primarily include medications but hearing aids and implants are helpful to some.
A perforated eardrum is a hole or rupture in the eardrum, a thin membrane that separates the ear canal and the middle ear. Perforated eardrum is often accompanied by decreased hearing and occasional discharge with possible pain. The amount of hearing loss experienced depends on the degree and location of perforation. Sometimes a perforated eardrum will heal spontaneously, other times, surgery to repair the hole is necessary. Serious problems can occur if water or bacteria enter the middle ear through the hole. A doctor can advise you on protection of the ear from water and bacteria until the hole is repaired.
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